Congressman Charles B. Rangel released the following statement after reports that Republicans want to cut Social Security benefits by changing the way inflation is calculated:
"Everyone has a grandparent, a friend or a neighbor who relies on the Social Security benefits they earned to pay for medical care, food and housing. A move towards chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) would be a long-term benefit cut for every single person who receives a Social Security check.
"The current average earned benefit for a 65 year old on Social Security is $17,134. Using chained CPI will result in a $6,000 loss for retirees in the first fifteen years of retirement and adds up to a $16,000 loss over twenty-five years. This change would be devastating to beneficiaries, especially widowed women, more than a third of whom rely on the program for 90% of their income and use every single dollar of the Social Security checks they've earned. This would require the most vulnerable Americans to dig further into their savings to fill the hole left by unnecessary and irresponsible cuts to Social Security.
"Reducing cost of living adjustments is a Social Security benefit cut. Any deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits is unacceptable and I will oppose it."